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Does Jesus Physically Appear in the Old Testament?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
March 14, 2024 3:00 pm

Does Jesus Physically Appear in the Old Testament?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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March 14, 2024 3:00 pm

Episode 1445 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. Is America modern-day Babylon?   2. Is there Biblical evidence against evolution?   3. What is the "spirit of Leviathan"?   4. Does Jesus physically appear in the Old Testament?       Today’s Offer: The King Is Crowned: 10 Ways Jesus's Ascension Matters For You   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Does Jesus physically appear in the Old Testament? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's Bill Meyer along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. If you get our voicemail system, feel free to leave your message there.

We do our best to go through those each day. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always feel free to email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to John calling in from Arkansas. John, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, John, are you there?

Yes, sir. I've been studying on the mystery of Babylon and the Bible, and I just want to get your opinion. Everybody I've talked to seems to think that it's the United States, but I'm stuck on the Internet. Have you got anything to say one way or another? Well, it's a mystery.

I do have thoughts about this. We're looking at the latter chapters of the book of Revelation, and in particular the fall of Babylon. Babylon, it's interesting because John in the book of Revelation, he sort of resurrects these Old Testament empires, oftentimes spoken of, whether it's the Babylonians or the Egyptians. These great empires that really persecuted the people of God. I think he's using them more than anything as a sort of visionary picture of the enemies of the people of God throughout history. There's an association with Babylon with regard to the Jews, the people who were persecuting the Christians there in the first century.

Remember that this book was written for believers in the first century who were suffering persecution, and specifically the synagogues were persecuting the believers. Jesus even mentioned this in his letters to the seven churches, but also the Roman Empire, I think, is a really good candidate for the judgment that falls upon Babylon. This is in Revelation chapter 18, verses 11, following, it says, and the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat cattle, and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves. Slaves, that is, human souls.

I think this is a good description of the Roman Empire with its opulence, with its slavery. This is talking about this judgment that's coming upon the persecutors of God's people, but Babylon as this system, I think it's better not to identify with just one group per se, but Babylon as this system can permeate the societies of the world throughout history. So there are Babylonian aspects, if you will, to nations throughout human history, and there can be Babylonian aspects about our own country, and this is where people are called to repentance and faith.

But if the question is, if the thought is, well, is Revelation 18 specifically about the United States of America, I don't think that that's the case. I think for all of us, we need to be aware of those sinful idolatrous practices that are a part of the spirit of Babylon that can creep into the kingdoms of the world today, but can also creep into our own lives. And that's one of the big warnings throughout the book of Revelation is don't let Babylon into your own heart, and by the grace of God, we're kept by the Lord through the spirit of God, sealed by the Holy Spirit. But it's this warning for the church throughout history to be on guard, and so God help us to be on guard, and God keep Babylon at bay. Amen. We do not want Babylon in our lives.

Exactly, yeah. My own pastor is going through Revelation right now. Adrian, I know you've recently gone through it with your congregation, and we're up to the chapters of the final battle, and man, just to see the system, the world system really empowered by Satan and how it stands so opposed to God, and there's going to be a reckoning, and that's very clear from Scripture. The Lord reigns, and from the very beginning of the book of Revelation, that's made very clear that Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

He's ascended and has all authority and power. Now, the kingdoms of this world continue to rage today, but there is coming that time, Bill, when every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. And so we are in this age of grace right now where we are being called, the nations are being called to repentance, to trust in Jesus the Son, and God, again, God bless the preaching of the gospel in the world today so that the kingdom of Christ continues to advance through that preaching.

Amen. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Always love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. You can leave us a voicemail anytime at this number, 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also email us at questions at corechristianity.com. Let's go to Hayden, who's calling in from Kansas. Hayden, what's your question for Adriel?

How's it going? So I had a question in regards to evolution and how humans came into materialization. A lot of my friends who aren't religious hold the argument that humans came from evolution and that there's no God, there is no Adam and Eve, and that's the end of the story. How can I convince them that the Lord put us on the earth and helped to bring them closer to the Lord and kind of really just kind of settle that argument?

That's a big one, Hayden. I love that you're even having these conversations, and I love that you have friends who are open to talking with you about this. So, I mean, there are a couple of different ways of approaching it. One, I would just say as a Christian, as a follower of Christ, when we're having these kinds of conversations, I think the power in terms of convincing others is in the Word of God by the Spirit of God. And so, one, be praying for your friends. And two, look for opportunities to talk about the Gospel, what God has done to share Scripture, because that's really where the power is. Now, that doesn't mean that you avoid these other subjects. I just mean that sometimes we can get into these endless debates and never get to the Gospel, never get to the Word, never get to talking about sin and the forgiveness of sins. And so that's, I think, what you want to be cautious of, is not just sort of going around in circles talking about, well, I don't think God exists and, well, I think He exists. You talk about who God is and what God has done for you and for them. Jesus came, lived the perfect life, suffered and died on the cross for our sins, rose again from the dead. This is stuff that happened in history that you can read about.

And is reigning right now at the right hand of the Father, and He calls all people everywhere to repent. That's the reality. That's the truth. Now, you also do, I think, want to address their other questions. You know, it sounds to me like they're just, you know, maybe materialist, you know, that, well, there is no God, this world just kind of came to be, and that's my view. But the fact of the matter is, is people who hold that view don't realize that it actually requires a great degree of faith as well. As much as they're like, you know, you have faith, I believe in science. The fact of the matter is, if you're going to say that there is no God and that the world that we see today just sort of happened by chance over time, over a long period of time, well, guess what?

That actually requires some pretty significant leaps of faith as well. And Hayden, one resource that I think would be really helpful for you, and actually a book that you could even give to your friends who hold these views, and it would be, I think, accessible, easy to go through for them, is the book The Story of Reality by Greg Kochel. How the world began, how it ends, and everything important that happens in between.

Greg has written a number of books related to apologetics, and this one in particular, again, The Story of Reality, I think would be a helpful conversation starter for you and for your friends. But I think just challenging them on that materialism, this idea that they're saying, well, no, there is no God, it just is. And there are so many problems with that. And at the end of the day, it's just a very bleak view of the world. If there is no God, then there are no moral absolutes, there's no such thing as right and wrong, anything more than just it being a social construct.

There's really no objective beauty. You just are left with a grim reality. Now, that doesn't mean, just because it's such a sad and grim view, that doesn't mean that we, that's not the only argument against it. But the fact of the matter is, is most people, even the people that adopt this idea, don't take it all the way. They want to believe that there is such a thing as right and wrong. They want to believe that humanity has value, human life has value, that people are worthy of dignity and respect.

And yet they don't realize as they want to believe those things, and even do believe those things, that they're borrowing from the Christian worldview, from a theistic worldview. And so there's a lot to talk about. I'm sorry, I'm sort of rambling, but there's just so much there.

Pray for them, talk about the word of God, talk about the gospel with them, and maybe use that book, The Story of Reality, to get into some of those deeper philosophical questions and questions about the origin of humanity. God bless, Hayden. Hey, Hayden, thanks so much for your call. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. Let's go to Mary, who's in Belleville, Illinois. Mary, what's your question for Adriel?

Hello, thank you for taking my call. Can you tell me something about the spirit of Leviathan, and is it still alive today? Mary, I just want to go back, when you say the spirit of Leviathan, Leviathan is this creature that's described in scripture, often in the Old Testament, places like the book of Job, or in the prophets, this terrible sea creature, sea dragon. Now, can you just share, when you talk about the spirit of Leviathan, what do you have in mind there?

I don't know, I was hoping you could tell me. Okay, okay. Well, here's what I'll say.

Okay. Insofar as Leviathan is oftentimes used as this picture of evil, as this... So there are a couple of ways in which the language of Leviathan in the Old Testament is used.

Sometimes it's just emphasizing the power of God. God is the one who conquered the great serpent, Leviathan. So highlighting, I think, the Lord as the omnipotent king. But additionally, again, the language of the serpent, the sea monster, the dragon, we do see that in other places, like in the book of Revelation, and there, it's a picture of, we were actually talking about Babylon just earlier on the broadcast, right? There, it's a picture of the wicked and idolatrous systems of the world and their worship, this beastly dragon, this monster. And of course, God, again, conquers the dragon.

How? Through Jesus, through the Son of God, through his death and resurrection from the dead. But that spirit of the dragon, we might say, the spirit of this age, is still alive and well.

And what is it? It's the spirit of the Antichrist. It's what John talked about in 1 John, where he said, look, don't believe every spirit, but test the spirits, knowing that many false prophets have gone out into the world. And so, I guess I could say, yeah, there is a sense in which right now, today, there is this deceptive spirit at work in the world, blinding men and women so that they don't receive the light of the truth. Now, how do we fight against it? We fight against it not with physical weapons. We don't take Leviathan out with machine guns and swords and that kind of a thing. No, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. We take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

We wage that spiritual war through worship, through praying for those who are in bondage, through sharing the Gospel with others, through meditating upon the Scriptures. And so, that's how the spirit of Leviathan gets pushed back today. Thanks for that question.

Hopefully that provides some clarification. I thought it was an interesting question about the spirit of Leviathan. God bless you, Mary. Yeah, you know, when our kids were little, we told them if they didn't behave, that Leviathan was going to come out of their closet in the 90s. Well, yeah, who needs the boogeyman when you have Leviathan to threaten your children? Great.

Well, I hope that they're okay, Bill. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, if you're a regular listener to the Core and you believe in what we do, I want to share something with you. We actually don't receive money from a church or denomination. We don't play commercials on this program.

There's no radio station that's underwriting our expenses. We rely on people just like you to make regular donations to keep us on the air. So, if you like Core Christianity, if you believe in what we do, first of all, we'd ask that you would pray for us on a regular basis. But also, we'd ask you to prayerfully consider making a gift. In fact, there's a group of people that have chosen to give on a monthly basis.

We call those people our inner Core. Yeah, it's a gift of $25 or more on a monthly basis, and it's one of the ways you can partner with us. And I want to speak to you, especially if you've been encouraged by Core Christianity. If you're growing in your own relationship with the Lord and understanding of the Scriptures as a result of the questions and answers that you hear every day on the broadcast, would you consider partnering with us? Partner by becoming a member of the inner Core.

Again, it's a gift of $25 or more, which, you know, every month is not a huge commitment, but it makes a big difference for us, and it's really encouraging to us. And as a thank you, we'll send you a copy of the book Core Christianity by Michael Horton, a wonderful resource if you're looking to grow in your understanding of the Core Truth that we're oftentimes talking about on the broadcast. And let me just also say, Mitt, thank you so much to all of our inner Core members. What a blessing it is to get to partner together with the hope of encouraging others in their faith in the Lord. If you'd like to learn more about joining the inner Core, just go to our website at corechristianity.com forward slash inner Core, or just look for that donate button on the page at corechristianity.com. And thanks again, again, to our wonderful inner Core members. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners.

This is Brian. Yes, Pastor Andrew, got a question for you. Everybody believes that Jesus never appeared on earth until he was born in Bethlehem, but I had somebody kind of stump me with a question, and I couldn't really answer.

I'm hoping you could clear this up. Two accounts in the Old Testament, I think one specifically is Genesis, the 18th chapter, about the three visitors coming to talk with Abraham. They said two of them were angels, but who was the third one? And the same thing with the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being thrown in the fiery furnace. They said a forest was in there, and they said he looked like the Son of God. Now, I don't believe Jesus appeared to mankind in the Old Testament until he was born in Bethlehem.

So could you kind of clear up those two different stories and maybe give me an answer? First, here's what we need to say about the Word, the eternal Son of the Father, is that he always was. There never was a time when Jesus, the Word, was not. He was eternally, is eternally, begotten of the Father. So he didn't begin to be during the time of the Incarnation, born of the Virgin Mary.

He always has been. And this eternal Son of the Father, there at the very beginning and from eternity past, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, he assumed humanity, taking flesh from the womb of the Virgin Mary, and came to earth for us and for our redemption. And so I think what we can do is we can distinguish between the Incarnation, which was a unique event in the history of redemption, and the times where we have these glimpses of the eternal Son in the Old Testament. And I do think that you do have such glimpses in places like Daniel chapter 3, the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, where they're cast into the fiery furnace. The king was very upset with them, and he heats up the furnace because they're not willing to commit idolatry. And the furnace was so hot that the flame killed the men who took Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and threw them in. And the three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the fiery furnace, and King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste, and he declared to his counselors, Did we not cast three men bound into the fire? And they answered and said to the king, True, O king. And he answered and said, But I see four men unbound walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt. And the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.

Very likely, what Nebuchadnezzar sees here is the son of man figure that's talked about later in Daniel chapter 7, verses 13 and following. This is the Lord Jesus. Now, it doesn't mean that he took on human flesh at that point, that the incarnation happened at multiple points in history.

No. But it is this miraculous, I think, appearance. We sometimes, you know, we'll talk about this in the context of the angel of the Lord, too. Who is that angel of the Lord, this mysterious figure that's oftentimes associated with God himself throughout the Old Testament? Certainly, Paul in the New Testament, 1 Corinthians chapter 10, talks about the rock that was following the Israelites in the wilderness. He says that rock was Christ. And so it's clear in Scripture, and even based on what the apostles themselves taught, that Jesus was present and active and appearing, if you will, there throughout redemptive history in the Old Testament. But that's different than his incarnation, his assumption of humanity to redeem our fallen nature.

And so distinguishing between those two things is important, and I think that's the answer to your question. God bless. Great response. Thank you for that. And Brian, thanks so much for listening to Core Christianity. We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, feel free to call us and leave a voicemail anytime at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now you can also email us. And here's an email that came in from one of our listeners named Tom. Tom says, The Apostle Paul documents his time when he was taken to heaven.

He doesn't record much about it because he says it was too beautiful for words, basically. But why do we shun other people who documented their own near-death experience? We're all aware that there are many false stories about this made up to sell books, but some must be true, especially if they validate scripture and that Jesus is Lord. I guess one of the big differences is we know Paul as an apostle is writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and so I take his word at face value.

I'm receiving it as the very word of God itself. We don't know that about these other accounts that people will share. And the other thing with that is, you know, some of these accounts, they do, after the fact, will say, Well, okay, I wasn't really telling the truth.

I was making this up in order to sell books, like you said. Some of them can contradict scripture, but then even with the ones where it seems like, Okay, well, this doesn't seem to contradict the Bible. I just think, you know, what does it add to me? I can't be certain about it, and that doesn't mean that I just have to say, Oh, you know, you're drinking bathwater and everybody who has some sort of supernatural experiences is wrong. No, I think people can have supernatural experiences today. That's not the ordinary way in which God works in the world today, but I think that it's possible. I try not to draw conclusions from somebody else's experience, and I think you have to take it with a grain of salt because there is so much false teaching out there and because the word of God is so twisted.

Look, here's what I'll say, and it's one of the things I've said on the broadcast again and again and again. What we need, what the church desperately needs today is to get back to the basics, to grow in our understanding of what the word of God says. We need to dig into the scriptures. So many people are looking for some exciting, you know, charismatic supernatural experience, and that's what they're chasing after in the Christian life. And what we really need is to say, No, God, I'm going to be satisfied with just being a member of a church and studying your word and seeking to grow in holiness and to love my neighbor. That's the ordinary Christian life. It can have extraordinary moments, but the ordinary Christian life is what we're called to pursue, and so God help us to do that. Thanks for the question. When you contact us, let us know how we can be praying for you and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-14 16:43:43 / 2024-03-14 16:53:22 / 10

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